Missing the watermelon days of summer


Missing the watermelon days of summer

As a southerner, I was weaned on watermelon - big slabs of glistening red flesh, polka dots of seeds that we practiced spitting from the edge of the porch -- so mixing such ambrosia with other ingredients has always seemed inappropriate.

That changed a couple of years ago, when a friend brought a salad of watermelon, feta, red onions and kalamata olives to a potluck party. My mind was further opened by the best dish from a recent meal at the Fatty Crab, in New York's West Village: Cool watermelon and hot crunchy pork belly, with Thai basil, lime and scallions.

The regret? Watermelon season, always too short for me, is waning. At my supermarket here in New Jersey, bins of them have been replaced by wan sliced specimens wrapped in plastic.


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